Cities are transforming as electric bike sales skyrocket

Original article was published on The Verge – Transportation Posts

Cities around the world are grappling with the same issue: how to safely reopen in the COVID-19 era. Public transportation systems in places like New York, London, and Paris typically carry millions of people to work and to shops each day, amounting to roughly 1.5 billion trips each year. Now, nobody wants to be on a crowded subway and risk exposure to the virus if they can avoid it. But if everyone jumps into cars instead, traffic will grind to a halt, interfere with emergency vehicles, and reverse advances many cities made toward reducing carbon emissions during lockdown. That’s why city planners and residents alike are looking at the humble bicycle as their way out.

Bicycles are the ideal mode of transportation as cities emerge from quarantine, made even more appealing now that summer is approaching in the US and Europe. They’re fast, comfortable, convenient, and allow you to socially distance while being active. When paired with an electric motor, e-bikes can make even long commutes a relaxing and sweat-free experience. They also help maintain the dramatic air quality improvements seen in cities around the world since coronavirus confinements began.

In some US cities, multilane roads and car parking can take up 50 to 60 percent of all real estate. In addition to robbing residents of parks and other open areas, it makes social distancing on congested sidewalks nearly impossible. What better time to rethink transportation models and reclaim space allocated to CO2-belching vehicles from a bygone age?

If not now, when?